Kenya won the first gold medal at the inaugural IAAF World Relays when they took the Men’s 4x800m final in emphatic fashion, crossing the line in 7:08.40 and taking the US $50,000 first place prize money.
The Kenyan quartet, despite the absence of Olympic gold medalist David Rudisha, led from gun-to-tape to clock a championships record time of 7:08.40, nearly six seconds off the current world record set by Kenya in 2006.
Led off by Ferguson Rotich, the Kenyans leapt into an early lead they never released till the end. Rotich ran the first 800m in 1:46.00 before handing off to Sammy Kirongo, who passed 1600m in 3:31.70.
Job Koech Kinyor on [link id=”81″ tax=”category” text=”Kenya”]’s third leg ran the second lap in 57.90 and handed off to Alfred Kipketer almost at a walk. Kipketer’s ambitious 49.00 opening lap made it 6:08.60 for the Kenyans at the bell, but Kipketer also faded badly on his second lap, splitting 59.80 for a final time of 7:08.40.
Poland anchored by the two-time European indoor 800m champion, Adam Kszczot beat Duane Solomon of the USA to the silver medal in a Polish record of 7:08.69.
USA took the bronze medals with 7:09.06; behind them Australia (fourth, 7:11.48), Mexico (sixth, 7:21.12), Bermuda (seventh, 7:21.87), Slovakia (eighth, 7:32.87), and Uganda (ninth, 7:53.34) all posted national records.
After the race, Kenya’s Job Kinyor said: “I’m very proud of our team. We are happy about winning the first gold of the first IAAF World Relays. Our plan was just to run our race, and our goal was to win, and we managed to execute our plan.”
Race Results – Men’s 4x800m
- Kenya, 7:08.40 CR
- Poland, 7:08.69 NR
- USA, 7:09.06 SB
- Australia, 7:11.48 AR
- Spain, 7:19.90 SB
- Mexico, 7:21.12 NR
- Bermuda, 7:21.87 PB
- Slovak Republic, 7:32.87 NR
- Uganda, 7:53.34 PB
Meet The Authors
Yomog Meje is a former Nigerian junior athlete and the Associate editor at Athletics Africa.